Women’s History Month – Bimbola's story | Our blog

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Women’s History Month – Bimbola's story

Bimbola Oluwasuyi, Advanced Nurse Practitioner at South London and Maudsley

During Women’s History Month it is easy to focus on the stories of high profile, successful women. But it is equally important to mark the success of unsung heroes whose enormous contributions to society, through raising children, caring, pursuing education and working with the most vulnerable, go virtually unseen. 

In our second blog for Women’s History Month, we caught up with Bimbola Oluwasuyi, Advance Nurse Practitioner, on following your path, taking multi-tasking to the max, and why we shouldn’t under-estimate each other.

It can be challenging to manage a career, let alone juggling work, family and everything else life throws at us day-to-day. What makes Bimbola’s story so remarkable is her ability to juggle multiple roles including nurse, law student and mother of three – but then again, she is a woman. 

“I joined the nursing profession over 20 years ago as a care support worker. I was inspired by the desire to help others and knew I had to follow a career where I was caring for the most vulnerable.

In 1997, I had my first child while working as a health care assistant in a private nursing home and while studying Access to Social Work at Greenwich Community college.

A significant milestone for me is when I took the decision in 2001 to change career while having young children at home, with the youngest just 11 months old.

You know, it’s not a decision you take lightly but I knew I had to do it.

So, I enrolled at the University of Greenwich to study Mental health Nursing.

As soon as I moved from being a care support worker to a student nurse, I knew I was on the right path.

The next few years were busy and not without their challenges, but in 2004 I was very proud to complete my nursing degree while raising my family. 

Over the next 10 years, I kept feeling like I needed a new challenge. I had always been interested in family law, immigration, and energy law.

So, I started my BA Hons in Law in 2015, after which I undertook my Master’s of Law in 2017.
I am glad to see this year’s theme is all about equity and inclusion and how this is enshrined in law through the UK the Equality Act 2010. Everyone should be respected and supported with kindness and words of encouragement.

I believe there should be clear strategies in each team to foster inclusivity and encourage diverse perspectives. On a daily basis I ensure I listen to all my colleagues' views and try to be open to those opinions that are different to my own.

I’m pleased that inroads have been made to promote gender equality by ensuring women and men get paid the same. I think probably what is needed next is mental health days for all frontline staff, so they have time to recalibrate after a stressful event.

Looking back at where I am now, I can see it wasn’t always easy juggling all aspects of my life but the values I teach my children have also helped me. From an early age I told them to put God first in everything they do. To be bold and not mediocre in any field they choose. To work hard to get to the apogee of their carer. To always make an impact, wherever they find themselves. To respect people, to be compassionate, responsible, reliable and honest.

Reflecting on where it all started - in nursing – I think my advice to younger women entering the field is to be bold and true to yourself. You are the future leaders of the work force, so lead by being a good example.

I know I am l very lucky to have gained such a wealth of experience whether from the different roles I have held in the NHS, my family life and from my studies.

Perhaps from time to time we all need to share with our colleagues how much we have accomplished so they understand how much we are bringing to the team.

Sometimes people may assume certain things because I am a nurse or am a mum – but I have achieved so much more than this - and I believe there are many more women who have too.”

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